SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 44,000 people across Johnston County are under a water shortage advisory on Tuesday due to a pipeline failure at a water treatment plant.
County officials notified customers Tuesday morning asking them to only use water for essential purposes following the failure at the Johnston County Water Treatment Plant.
There is no safety hazard or boil order in place.
Officials are just hoping people will save water while they make the repairs they need to on a main pipeline at the plant.
The advisory could last for a few days.
“We had a break in the line at one of the chemical feed points coming into the plant,” explained Chandra Farmer, the director of utilities for Johnston County.
It’s the second time this has happened.
Farmer told CBS 17 that in May 2021, there was a similar pipeline failure.
“We have made another temporary repair, however, our intent now is to make a permanent repair, so we can prevent this type of failure in the future,” she said. “What we will do is take out the sections of the line that were repaired last year, and put in a brand new line.”
That could take some time to do.
“Within the week. Unfortunately, we’re waiting on a reply back of who will be able to have the materials on hand,” added Farmer.
Farmer said they do not have a cost estimate yet, but she believes it should be within their budget, and there should not be a utility fee increase due to this repair.
In the meantime, officials are asking people to cooperate and conserve.
“We’re trying to reduce that peak hour demand, so we can ensure and meet the supply for all of our customers,” she said.
Right now, it is voluntary.
But Farmer said it could become mandatory if people don’t follow the advisory.
Kevin Byrd, who lives in the Cleveland community, isn’t too concerned with the advisory.
“I don’t have a pool and there’s no grass in my yard, so I don’t have to worry about irrigation or a pool,” he said.
But he is worried about what this means for the future as the area continues to grow and develop.
“There are so many houses going up that eventually, it’s going to overload the whole system,” said Byrd. “I think we’re going to run into a lot more conserve issues with the water, and there won’t be enough to go around.”
CBS 17 checked in with county officials.
A representative said they have a multi-year capital improvement plan in place which will expand infrastructure and help future utility needs.